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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3088.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 10:45 AM

Abstract #102239

Culture of Black Women: Love, Sex, and HIV

Naomi Hall, MPH, MA, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University, 150 E. 10th St., ACB 107, Claremont, CA 91711, 562-221-7291, naomi.hall@cgu.edu

Introduction: Black women are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. To address issues related to the rising prevalence and incidence of HIV/AIDS among Black women, we must look beyond conventional knowledge of the factors related to behavior change. The impact of social, cultural, and gender norms on HIV sexual risk behaviors in Black women have not received ample attention from public health and psychological researchers. This study sought to examine how sociocultural factors such as the perception of available mates, sexual relationship power, and cultural centrality are related to Black women's HIV sexual risk behaviors. Methods: The sample contained 135 self-identified, heterosexual adult Black women living in the greater Los Angeles area. Participants were recruited from various community-based organizations, public and private sector businesses, public and private institutes of higher education, outreach, and through personal contacts. Data collection occurred between April and October 2004. Data on sociodemographic information, perception of available mates, perceived power in sexual relationships, HIV sexual risk behaviors, and cultural centrality were collected and examined. Results: A strong relationship was found between sexual relationship power and HIV sexual risk behaviors. Low to moderate relationships exists between cultural centrality and HIV sexual risk behaviors, and cultural centrality and perceptions of mate availability. Significance was found for the impact of these sociocultural variables on individual incidences of sexual risk behavior. Finally, regression analyses indicate sociodemographic variables such as education, relationship status, and age of current or most recent sexual partner show strong associations with predictor variables, and individual HIV sexual risk behaviors. Discussion: It is unrealistic to believe that substantial progress can be made in eliminating HIV infection among Black women while ignoring the social conditions that foster the greater rates of infection in this population. Findings serve to further inform the body of literature examining the impact of sociocultural and sociodemographic factors on the Black community and its relationship with HIV sexual risk behaviors. In addition, the results of this study can serve to inform future HIV/AIDS prevention intervention efforts targeted towards Black women in large metropolitan areas and set the stage for future research on related domains.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: African American, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Sexual Health and Personal Responsibility: The Burden of HIV/AIDS on the African-American Community

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA